Hell On Earth
Review by Vladimir on March 23, 2023.
Black Metal and Punk! Two genres with an equally rebellious attitude, yet so different in both sound, lyrical themes and aesthetics. However, the two do usually go hand in hand. We’ve seen good examples of black metal bands fusing their music with hardcore or crust punk, providing some successful outcomes which although at first seem odd to many, nevertheless end up being good releases or solid at best. One of such bands that were brave enough to take on this musical formula is Avern from Spain. They’ve released their first full-length album Hell On Earth on digital platforms, which is set to be released on CD as well on April 6th, 2023. Let’s have a look at their album and see has it managed to successfully unleash Hell on Earth.
From the get-go, the first title track punches you right in the face with very aggressive metallic punk riffing and mid-tempo drumming, both of which are very much in the vein of Celtic Frost, with deep and harsh guttural vocals that are quite hellish sounding. Epic singing vocals in the first track that surprisingly go well with the already established sound, and let’s not forget the brief appearance of a blast beat that comes right after the epic vocals. The second track 'The Observer' is a very catchy tune with mid-tempo rhythm that really brings in the groove, with d-beat and leads that just add icing on the cake and the sweet cherry on the top. The epic vocals make a brief return in the third track 'The Shadow Of The Cross', which is a doomier track on the first half before going full on “ÖUGH!” in the second half. The final track 'Savage Soul' has an interesting drum build up at the beginning which reminded me a lot of the main theme from The Terminator, I don’t know whether this was done on purpose or coincidentally, but nevertheless I like that a lot. The songwriting on this release is really top notch oldschool black metal fused with punk, although I must say that what I really liked a lot about it is that it’s not done to the point where tracks repeat the same formulas, but are all various when it comes to ideas, rhythm and song arrangements that were incorporated. The sound production is also great and superb, with guitars that have a very crunchy and aggressive tone, heavy distorted bass, kickass drums and a great vocal sound. What I think also deserves a mention is the fantastic album artwork by Brookesia Studio, which although seems quite unusual, does have a great contrast to the music, especially the detail with the added chimera.
It goes without saying that I found this release more than attractive after my first listening, and I believe that most of you would probably enjoy it too. Although I am not an avid listener of bands that combine black metal with punk, in my opinion, I think Avern hit the spot for this one. They nailed this performance and I am definitely looking forward to hearing more from this band since I really enjoyed the Hell On Earth album. If you haven’t checked this one out yet, I highly suggest you do!
Rating: 8.6 out of 10414